According to a report from Colliers International, the best logistics hubs on the continent are Antwerp, Rotterdam and Dusseldorf, which is hardly surprising, but the report also took a look at emerging centres, behind what once used to be the Iron Curtain.
It found that the east has a lot to offer, thanks to low labour costs and relatively good geographic location. Prague and Bratislava came out on top with the best score for distribution, which is excellent as they are smack in the middle of Europe. In manufacturing, the best scores went to Kiev, Istanbul, Bratislava, Katowice and Sofia.
Istanbul stands out for the lowest labour costs compared to most other surveys, coupled with good infrastructure which is expected to get even better thanks to Turkey’s impressive growth over the past decade. Additionally, Turkey is strengthening trade links with Russia and the Middle East.
As far as old Europe goes, Liege and Lille seem to offer the best compromise between cost and market access, while northern Italy is also becoming an interesting region from the marketing perspective. It is expected to benefit from increased freight traffic in northern Adriatic ports and therefore Milan and Bologna both ranked in the top 20.
As for Britain, the report had a few nice things to say about the East Midlands, which is slowly being transformed from coal mining to car assembly, thanks to Nissan among others.
Unsurprisingly the report found that Southern Europe has no clear competitive advantage over the rest of the continent, be it in manufacturing or distribution. Still, things might change as the competitiveness of southern economies improves on the back of structural reforms.